Petropoulou M, Mastichiadis A.

An estimation method for the minimum Doppler factor and energy content of quasar 3C 279. In: Vol. 1505. ; 2012. pp. 643 - 646.

WebsiteAbstractIn the present work we propose an estimation method for the minimum Doppler factor and energy content of the γ-ray emitting region of quasar 3C 279, using a standard proton synchrotron blazar model and the principles of automatic photon quenching. This estimation method can be regarded as an extension of the one for estimating the equipartition magnetic field. In our case the leptonic synchrotron component is replaced by the proton synchrotron emission and the radio by the VHE γ-ray observations.

Petropoulou M, Mastichiadis A.

On proton synchrotron blazar models: the case of quasar 3C 279. [Internet]. 2012;426:462 - 472.

WebsiteAbstractIn this work we propose an innovative estimation method for the minimum Doppler factor and energy content of the γ-ray emitting region of quasar 3C 279, using a standard proton synchrotron blazar model and the principles of automatic photon quenching. The latter becomes relevant for high enough magnetic fields and results in spontaneous annihilation of γ-rays. The absorbed energy is then redistributed into electron-positron pairs and soft radiation. We show that as quenching sets an upper value for the source rest-frame γ-ray luminosity, one has, by necessity, to resort to Doppler factors that lie above a certain value in order to explain the TeV observations. The existence of this lower limit for the Doppler factor also has implications on the energetics of the emitting region. In this aspect, the proposed method can be regarded as an extension of the widely used method for estimating the equipartition magnetic field using radio observations. In our case, the leptonic synchrotron component is replaced by the proton synchrotron emission and the radio by the very high energy γ-ray observations. We show specifically that one can model the TeV observations by using parameter values that minimize both the energy density and the jet power at the cost of high values of the Doppler factor. On the other hand, the modelling can also be done by using the minimum possible Doppler factor; this, however, leads to a particle-dominated region and high jet power for a wide range of magnetic field values. Despite the fact that we have focused on the case of 3C 279, our analysis can be of relevance to all TeV blazars favouring hadronic modelling that have, moreover, simultaneous X-ray observations.

Petropoulou M, Mastichiadis A.

Temporal signatures of leptohadronic feedback mechanisms in compact sources. [Internet]. 2012;421:2325 - 2341.

WebsiteAbstractThe hadronic model of active galactic nuclei and other compact high-energy astrophysical sources assumes that ultra-relativistic protons, electron-positron pairs and photons interact via various hadronic and electromagnetic processes inside a magnetized volume, producing the multiwavelength spectra observed from these sources. A less studied property of such systems is that they can exhibit a variety of temporal behaviours due to the operation of different feedback mechanisms. We investigate the effects of one possible feedback loop, where γ-rays produced by photopion processes are being quenched whenever their compactness increases above a critical level. This causes a spontaneous creation of soft photons in the system that result in further proton cooling and more production of γ-rays, thus making the loop operate. We perform an analytical study of a simplified set of equations describing the system, in order to investigate the connection of its temporal behaviour with key physical parameters. We also perform numerical integration of the full set of kinetic equations verifying not only our analytical results but also those of previous numerical studies. We find that once the system becomes 'supercritical', it can exhibit either a periodic behaviour or a damped oscillatory one leading to a steady state. We briefly point out possible implications of such a supercriticality on the parameter values used in active galactic nuclei spectral modelling, through an indicative fitting of the VHE emission of blazar 3C 279.

Petropoulou M, Mastichiadis A.

Automatic Quenching of γ-RAY Emission in Compact Astrophysical Sources. In: Vol. 8. ; 2012. pp. 384 - 387.

WebsiteAbstractWe investigate automatic γ-ray photon quenching in compact non-thermal sources. This is an auto-regulating network of processes that consists of photon-photon absorption and synchrotron emission of the produced e- e+ pairs and operates non linearly whenever the γ-ray luminosity exceeds a critical value. We present expressions for this quantity and discuss our results.

Dimitrakoudis S, Petropoulou M, Mastichiadis A.

The Time-Dependent One-Zone Hadronic Model: First Principles. In: Vol. 8. ; 2012. pp. 19 - 24.

WebsiteAbstractWe present some results on the radiative signatures of the one zone hadronic model. For this we have solved five spatially averaged, time-dependent coupled kinetic equations which describe the evolution of relativistic protons, electrons, photons, neutrons and neutrinos in a spherical volume containing a magnetic field. Protons are injected and lose energy by synchrotron, photopair and photopion production. We model photopair and photopion using the results of relevant MC codes, like the SOPHIA code in the case of photopion, which give accurate description for the injection of secondaries which then become source functions in their respective equations. This approach allows us to calculate the expected photon and neutrino spectra simultaneously in addition to examining questions like the efficiency and the temporal behaviour of the hadronic models.

Petropoulou M.

Signatures of particle acceleration on Gamma Ray Burst afterglow light curves. In: ; 2012. pp. 17 - 17.

WebsiteAbstractWe investigate the behavior of the X-ray lightcurves in the afterglow phase of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB), after taking into account the maximum electron Lorentz factor (gamma_max) as an additional parameter of the problem. First, we treat gamma_max as a free parameter and we examine the lightcurves that one obtains for different values of the ratio gamma_max/gamma_min, where gamma_min is the minimum electron energy. We find that the lightcurves depend strongly on this ratio showing a variety of morphologies, with some having a strong resemblance to the observations. As a next step, we introduce particle acceleration and calculate gamma_max in a self-consistent way by balancing the energy losses with the energy gains of the accelerating electrons. The physical picture corresponds to particles injected at low energies and accelerated in the downstream region of the external GRB shock wave. We simulate that by introducing an acceleration term in the equation that describes the evolution of the electron distribution. We show some first results of the radiated synchrotron photon spectra obtained at various radii of the blast wave. Finally, we discuss possible implications of such 'one-zone' acceleration models for GRB afterglows.